Everyone loves pirates. Everyone loves ninjas. Why not slap the two together and make them play….dodgeball. Hold on a minute is that really a good idea? Dodgeball was great fun back at school but as a game it doesn’t hold much appeal. It is simple in the extreme and playing it with pirates and ninjas doesn’t really make it any more interesting. Sadly this is another Wii title that doesn’t come up to scratch.
Gameplay (2 out of 5)
The game offers a single player campaign which is something of a surprise. Choose your faction and then embark on a range of dodgeball related missions. The story, such as it is, is revealed through text and the missions are basically games of dodgeball on a variety of maps.
The basic game mechanics are quite well handled. You can run, dodge, jump, throw and catch. In single player you will still play as part of a team but you can change player with the C button. Pirates vs Ninjas Dodgeball also challenges you to use the Wii remote to throw passes or attack other players. Passing accurately can be tricky to pull off. Each character has a health bar and when it hits rock bottom they are eliminated. You play until there is only one team left standing.
The game does get a bit chaotic and the camera doesn’t always give you the view that you want on the action. Although many of the missions are larger environments which you can run around the typical size is limited. The single player story is not very engaging and the missions are mostly quite easy. The AI is reasonable although they can be super skilled one minute and a bit useless the next.
Replay Value (2 out of 5)
There are a couple of other modes in addition to the basic story mode but they are all just dodgeball. There is also a local multiplayer option so you can play against a friend and the game supports up to seven additional players. You can also unlock new teams including robots, zombies and aliens. The multiplayer is more enjoyable than the single player but it doesn’t seem too likely that this game will keep you coming back for more. The gameplay is simply too repetitive and the game scope too narrow to justify long term play.
Graphics (3 out of 5)
The character design is good and the developers Blazing Lizard have gone for a cartoon approach with cute, oddly proportioned pirates and ninjas. The models are not very detailed but the style is nice. The environments are fairly basic but they fit the cute cartoon style. The game visuals in Pirates vs Ninjas Dodgeball on the Wii are passable but there is nothing special going on here.
Overall (2 out of 5)
This is a simple game which was originally released on the Xbox 360 Live Arcade for just $10. They have added a couple of modes for the Wii release but nowhere near enough to justify a $30 price tag. The game title makes it sound like a lot more fun than it actually is. Pirate vs Ninjas Dodgeball is a typically poor port for the Wii and while it is by no means the worst game released on the platform it just isn’t worth the asking price.